How accessibility is decided in the specs

For what it’s worth, I’ve never heard the user that Hixie is alluding to refer to themselves as an “accessibility expert.” However, I would in fact label this person exactly that. He has been invaluable at testing and implementing solutions for accessibility issues in Drupal community. He has been especially helpful with 508 accessibility issues we have encountered. Despite having a team of “accessibility experts” at my disposal (we take accessibility very seriously at San Francisco State University, indeed we won the Digital Inclusion award in '08 http://www.sfsu.edu/~news/prsrelea/fy08/026.html), I have often turned to this person for advice.

Regardless of the outcome of the original issue, the behavior of Ian Hixie in this matter is out-of-line at best and discriminatory at worst. Issues should be figured out based on the facts at hand and potential implementation, not by ad hominem attacks towards a person’s character. For shame.

Looking at the original ‘suggestion’ on that there ‘bug’ – there is NO reason to add a new tag for that – it’s fallback content; use a frelling IMG tag! You don’t need a new tag for that – just show the bloody IMG. The LAST thing HTML 5 needs is MORE tags. People can’t be bothered to use most of the tags in HTML 4 properly if at all (FIELDSET, LEGEND, LABEL, CAPTION, TH, THEAD, TBODY come to mind…) adding more tags and attributes isn’t going to help make things better!

But then, I still say there is no reason to be adding AUDIO or VIDEO tags, since that undoes all the progress of STRICT… having LESS tags and removing redundancy. That’s OBJECT’s job! (Which was put in place to eventually replace APPLET, IMG, EMBED and BGSOUND – which is why them making EMBED official is some serious whiskey tango foxtrot territory!)

How about instead of all these new useless redundant tags we ride the browsers makers asses on getting the existing ones working in a consistent manner?

HTML 5 – when that garbage becomes ‘expected’ I’m done doing websites for other people. Never have a I seen a more convoluted train wreck designed pretty much to throw us back to HTML 3.2 in terms of over-thought bloated ‘gee ain’t it neat’ nonsense.

But of course since the whole thing seems designed by the people who never embraced strict or even bothered understanding why certain tags were deprecated in the first place…

Or if not a IMG tag and using the poster attribute, just put that alt text in as the fallback content – that’s what the fallback content is FOR. See how OBJECT was supposed to replace IMG…

<object src=“images/donKnotts.jpg” type=“image/jpg”>Mr. Peacock surrounded by the Peacock Pussycats</object>

Being the originally proposed replacement for:

<img src=“images/donKnotts.jpg” alt=“Mr. Peacock surrounded by the Peacock Pussycats”>

I’ll admit to not knowing much at all about HTML5, but I see this idea being like the current system of click-the-image-placeholder-to-load-the-flash-video that is prevalent of so many websites today. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong.)

But if I’m right… why is this ‘poster’ tag even needed, why isn’t an ordinary image tag used? That way you can get all the features of an image tag, including alt attributes, because that’s exactly what this poster seems to be, an image.

Well, in the spec it’s currently not a tag, but an attribute… and it does work like the current sites that will load a picture before playback.

Technically thinking on it I believe it should be a separate element – as an ATTRIBUTE of the video tag. I’m ok with it as an attribute (though it should be on object instead of adding some new trash tag)… This way you could have the poster embedded on the VIDEO tag, with a separate IMG for people for whom the video tag fails.


<video
	poster="images/poster.png"
	src="videos/mymovie.mp4"
	type="video/mp4"
>
	<img
		src="images/noMoviePicture.png"
		alt="Describe the movie for non-visual users here"
	/>
	<p>
		Your system is unable to play this movie
	</p>
</video>

Would be how the current version of the specification would work – which is why I don’t see the need for a new tag as there’s MORE than enough drop-through present.

Because often the first frame happens to be all black, which looks a bit dull.

The author can use an image that may have absolutely nothing to do with the video as the video’s first frame, too.

I’m not arguing for or against poster frame descriptions here, just pointing out that poster="" is just a convenience feature and that the issue exists also without the attribute.

You missed it entirely. It’s how a person feels when they have to ask friends, family and strangers to help them with stuff, when they’d rather be able to do it themselves. I’m not calling them babies. I’m saying it’s how you feel when you know, if someone else had kept you in mind, you could have done it yourself. People want to be able to do things themselves. Around here, motorised chairs are way more popular than manual ones.

But to flip the whole longdesc debate over, you can say that most people who use AT don’t use longdesc feature because the software might or might not know how to read it. You then argue “well version 1, didn’t know how to read longdesc but version 2 does. See we gave people to grab the longdesc, and nobody with disabilities are using it!” What people that make the argument fail to understand is that version jump can cost $200-1200. I know I cannot shell out that much for an upgrade. Given that a user can upgrade, the keystroke to fetch/go to /whatever the longdesc is probably not easy to recall. Since there are a hundred or so hotkeys.

I will say i am not a proponent of longdesc. I think that if a person is going to spend a paragraph or two about a description of an image, they should be putting that on the page, not hiding it behind a longdesc URL.

There needs to more info here. Claiming to know something and using it are very different things. You say they are unable to use it. Is it a lack of knowledge? Lack of skillset? lack of the AT? If it is the later, that is a poor example.

This is a very fine line. I can see why you are saying posteralt is a mute subject. While I know people that put call me at 555-1212 in the ‘poster’ frame of a video to give non-video-related information to the viewer. that information could be important. However if the person making the video is using that to get out of writing out a summary, then can we depend on them to fill out posteralt? nope, we would need to do OCR on that image.

Note: I started this post around 3 or 4 PM EST on Nov 15, but had to run out the door. I have not seen new comments on this thread, so if I am saying something somebody else said, that is why.

@ Hixie, KarlGroves, stevefaulkner, shelleyp, jensimmons, johnfoliot, nowarninglabel

Welcome to SitePoint! :slight_smile:

Even though this is a contentious issue, it’s great to have so many new and interesting voices in the forums. A really interesting debate. Hopefully we will see more of you all around here! :slight_smile:

Objections to the Change Proposal for no Poster short alt text.